Mittwoch, 22. Oktober 2014

Beyond Normal Life, there still may be Further Progress

The Realized Universe (Genjo kôan, Part 6)

There are many dimensions for seeing reality. We as human beings have to leave the dust and dirt of the so-called normal life to go the Buddha way. Then we leave the normal barriers and hindrances of body-and-mind and especially of our understanding of human beings, social groups and the world.

“And beyond this, there still may be further progress. The existence of (their) practice-and-experience and the existence of their lifetime and their life, are like this."

It is important that we find our place in this world and that we find our true actions in society and in the realized universe. And these dimensions cannot be only materialistic and physical, they go beyond the opposition of subjective and objective. Because reality exists in the present moment, the past and the future are not so important because they are just processes in our brain. In the state of perfect realization it appears together with the Buddha Dharma and this is the natural and free situation. It is very important to remember that mere consciousness is not so important:

“Do not assume that what is attained will inevitably self-conscious and be recognized by the intellect.”

And if we are practising: to get a small part of the world, a Dharma, means to penetrate one Dharma.

In the last paragraph of this important chapter Master Dôgen tells a kôan story about a Master, who is using a fan because it is hot and he wants to have some refreshing coolness. A monk comes along. He is convinced that he is very intelligent and knows a lot about the Buddha Dharma. So he tells the Master:

“The nature of air is to be ever-present, and there is no place that (air) cannot reach. Why then does the Master use the fan?”

So he might be intellectually right and have an abstract understanding of Buddha´s teaching, but in the concrete situation of using a fan such nice words are not very important and miss the mark. And this truth is exactly what the Master tells the monk. But at first the monk doesn’t understand what the Master is trying to explain to him. So he asks the question again about the truth of the air being everywhere. But it is evident that words cannot convince the monk and help him to experience reality itself. Because of this, the Master does not continue the conversation, he just moves the fan to get fresh air. Through this action the monk immediately enters into reality and understands the Buddhist truth, and so he prostrates himself before the master:

“The real experience of the Buddha-Dharma, the vigorous road of the authentic transmission, is like this.”